UCL News


Round the world in 80 ways

10 June 2005

Two UCL students pedalled a human powered hovercraft out of UCL's front quad on 11 June 2005 as the first mode of transport, on their six-week fundraising journey to circumnavigate the world in 80 ways.

The team

Tim Moss (Psychology 3) and Thom Allen (Geology 3) have taken up the challenge in order to raise money for the Treehouse Trust, which provides education and resources for children with autism. Tim, the expedition leader and organiser, said: "Having spent the last year working with a boy who has autism, I am acutely aware of how much help he needs. When I saw the amazing work that TreeHouse does for children like him, I knew I had to help them."

To make matters even more challenging, the duo have limited themselves to using each mode of transport once, with the exception of walking. The team received an initial grant of £3,000 from UCL's Expedition & Travel Committee, which helps UCL students undertake challenging and original independent travel. However, much more is needed to help them realise their goal, and raise funds for Treehouse.

Tim added: "There are so many parts of the trip that excite me. I'm particularly looking forward to paragliding from the Isle of Wight back to the mainland and riding yaks in Mongolia, but the most exciting thing about the trip is the challenge of not knowing exactly where we're going or how we're getting there."

Steam Boat Willy, the pedal powered hovercraft, was designed and built by UCL's Human Powered Flight Club and holds the world record for longest floating duration. The students managed to get half way down Gower Street in the craft before commandeering an electronic shopping buggy.

A website tracking their progress has been set up and will be updated by Mike Halls-Moore, a student from Warwick University. So far, he has received reports that the team have reached the continent by way of numerous modes of transport including mobile crane, wheelbarrow, catamaran and dumper truck.

The students are keen for help with their expedition, and are still seeking assistance from anyone who can offer transport and donations to Treehouse.

Images: Top - The team get ready to set off. Bottom - Commandeering a shopping buggy.

For more information use the links below.


Treehouse Trust
UCL Travel and Expeditions Committee